By Deborah DeBare
The Providence Journal, May 20th 2012
He "started yelling at me, and he held me up against the refrigerator, choking me. I didn't know what to do. I was fading. I didn't know what was going on. All I knew was that I fell to the ground," testified Carmen Cruz, a domestic-violence survivor, to the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island House. "This happens all the time with abuse," she added.
Though Cruz survived, she endured many more years of abuse, including an attempt on her life when her abuser shot her in front of her children and grandchildren.
Cruz's story is familiar to domestic-violence survivors. Strangulation is a very common and dangerous form of domestic assault. Domestic violence is about power and control, and strangulation is one way that power can be violently asserted. When your abuser strangles you, he is telling you that he holds your life in his hands and he has the power to end it.